The role of unqualified persons in the provision of advice and assistance

Only a solicitor who is entitled to undertake legal work in his or her own name can grant advice and assistance.

Any non-qualified person who is interviewing your client for advice and assistance must refer to these notes for guidance.

A&A: what unqualified staff may and may not do

A person who is not a solicitor

Must

  • Refer to the Keycard, including the notes for guidance for solicitors, as well as these notes when completing online advice and assistance application
  • Refer any questions in the financial section of the form which need the exercise of discretion (for example, whether income or capital can be disregarded) to you
  • Refer all matters relating to the subject matter of the advice to be given to you
  • When interviewing your client, specifically ask the questions set in our guidance.

may

  • Get information from your client which will allow you to carry out the financial assessment, including vouching such as payslips
  • Take brief details of the problem, which will allow you to formulate the subject matter of advice and assistance

must not

  • Provide your client with any advice in connection with the subject matter of advice and assistance
  • Decide whether ABWOR is to be given – this is for you to decide
  • Take the decision about eligibility

Only you are entitled to undertake legal aid work and can grant advice and assistance. You must also carry out the assessment of whether your client qualifies financially.

In this section